1. Ensure that you have a software firewall installed and an anti virus program installed and a program that is able to detect malware also.
2. Make sure that if you are able to, download all widows updates and install them. - you should do this using the standard Windows Updates method and ensure that you computer has Internet Explorer installed.
3. Keep you laptop away from liquids of all types, and do not eat over the keyboard -This is to stop debris falling in-between the keys and jamming them up. Liquids can damage the keyboard or can even damage the entire machine.
4. If you can you should clean all the fans in your laptop once every 6 months or more frequently – you do this by blowing compressed air into the machine using a compressed air canister and do this with the machine switched off. Make sure that you blow the air through mainly in the direction that the machine would normally work, i.e. though the air intake. Never operate your laptop on a soft surface like a cushion, bed or carpet.
5. If you use your laptop at home mostly, remove the battery from the machine and run it on the mains only. - try to completely discharge and recharge the battery once every couple of months. Battery’s last longer treated this way. Store the battery fully charged in a cool dry place.
6. Never carry your laptop around when switched on, or even when in standby. Why because damage to you hard drive is massively increased, why because in many cases the hard drive will still be spinning.
7. Configure you Anti Virus software to scan any device attached to your laptop, that includes memory sticks, hard disks and cds and dvds, and allow it to scan any new device before you access that device.
8. If you can afford it, get a computer shop you trust to dissemble your laptop and clean all of the parts inside to do with cooling the laptop. This cleaning should include cleaning the internal parts of the cpu / chipset cooling heatsink. Replacement of the compound between the cpu chip and the heat sink is worth doing every two years I would recommend.
9. If you can organise yourself enough you should do two things regularly: backup all your emails and all your user data, and secondly, de- fragment your hard disk.-You need an external Hard Disk really to do the backing up, but you can use dvd's if you can not afford and external hard disk. All versions of windows have a de-fragmenting program built in to them, so you do not need to buy a program to do this..
10. Treat any file sharing Web Site or any Bit Torrent with extreme caution. If you must use a file sharing site then only download from one where you pick the most popular files and ensure you scan everything you download, before actually opening it. Every executable file should be scanned with your anti virus program, prior to being actually executed.
11. Never put anything on your keyboard, why because you may close the laptop and in the process crack the screen, and secondly monitor your hard disk space, if you ever get to the point where your disk space reaches 20% free then you should take immediate action to free up some space.
12. If you are going to back anything up, do it to a separate hard drive, not a separate partition on your current main hard drive always back up to an external hard drive in prefrence to a dvd, a cd or a memory stick.